Consumer Reports tests gray hair fixes

March 21, 2014

Hiding our gray hair is a multi-million dollar business. No surprise, since women who color their hair have to recolor about every month to keep their roots from showing.

Consumer Reports tested touch-up products that claim to stretch out the time between colorings.

For some women, keeping their "crowning glory" looking glorious is no small task. Monthly colorings can add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year.

"I look good, I feel good, and it's worth spending the money," said Debra Linden.

So what happens when your roots start showing, and you can't color your hair right away?

Consumer Reports tested 8 of the new root touch-up products that promise to help.

Panelists tried them to see how well they matched their hair color and how well they covered the gray.

"What I look for in these products is that it's easy to use, it's fast, and it matches my color," said Julie Levine.

All products are used on dry hair. Some are sprays; some are markers. Others are packaged like lipstick or paint-on with a brush.

They are all supposed to wash out when you shampoo.

The panelists found most worked well. They particularly liked Oscar Blandi Pronto Colore for $23. It did a good job covering grays and comes in a range of colors that matched well.

A close runner-up, the Roux 'Tween Time for $8, which comes in five shades. All you have to do is wet the crayon-like tip to apply.

Either should keep those grays at bay, and no one will be the wiser.

Consumer Reports has a caution about some of the other root touch-ups. Those with spray applicators can make your scalp extremely cold. So follow the instructions carefully, and don't spray them for too long or too close.

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